Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Three-congregation consolidation advances

But members of Emanuel, Holy Triune, St. Paul churches are not yet sure where they’ll worship

Three ELCA congregations in northeast Minneapolis took separate but identical votes on Sunday, December 10, on a pair of proposals that will decide their futures. (See a page 3 story in December 2006 Metro Lutheran.)

Members of Emanuel Lutheran Church, 13th and Monroe; St. Paul Lutheran Church, Lowry and Quincy; and Holy Triune Lutheran, 22nd Avenue and Fillmore, all ratified the election of a nine-member church council to govern their proposed three-church consolidation. Three members will come from each of the combining congregations.

A stumble occurred, however, when voters were asked to approve a recommendation to make Emanuel the combined ministry’s temporary worship site. The proposal was ratified by large numbers at St. Paul and Emanuel, but members of Holy Triune were unenthusiastic. They voted overwhelmingly to reject the idea of moving to Emanuel’s worship site, even temporarily.

That means more conversation is now in the works, concerning where the emerging new entity will temporarily locate itself.

The Rev. Craig Pederson, pastor of St. Paul Church, told Metro Lutheran, following the December 10 vote, “None of our congregations have actually approved a binding vote on dissolution yet. We’re waiting for legal counsel to give us some clarification on that. We haven’t filed a charter yet.”

The newly-elected council began to function immediately following the December 10 vote, with their first meeting the following Thursday.

A recommendation has been made to call Pastor Pederson and his counterpart at Emanuel, the Rev. Evelyn Dahlke, as leaders for the proposed consolidation. That step is yet to be acted upon.
Pederson told Metro Lutheran the temporary worship site would have been used beginning next Easter, but admits the vote at Holy Triune might mean that “maybe we’ll have to consider continued use of multiple [ministry] sites.”

Pastor Dahlke said, “We’re planning to take a step back and look at criteria and operating costs.” She said, “Things have gone so smoothly, [this snag] brought some reality back into it.”